‘Mending Hearts’ works to end opioid epidemic

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Trina Frierson spent 10 years in and out of jail for crimes she says committed while maintaining her drug and alcohol addictions. She was homeless after incarceration and ended up in a halfway house.

“Being there, I noticed there was a such a huge need for women in programs and wrap around services, said Trina Frierson, CEO and President, Mending Hearts. “So the idea in the beginning was just really a resource center but after writing and coming forth, it ended up into a program.”

Frierson started Mending Hearts in 2004. At the time, she was serving women out of her house.

“We started off in our personal home with 7 women. As the women continued to come into the program, we found that they have other needs.”

She added, “The mission of Mending Hearts is in place as direct result of my personal history with drugs and alcohol.”

Mending Hearts focuses on helping women who are homeless because of their addictions. It offers what Frierson calls a “full-continuum of care.” Services include social detox, residential treatment, intensive outpatient, and transition to the work-force community.

More than a decade after starting the program in her house, Frierson and her team are able to serve 102 women. They operate out of 14 houses in the Nations neighborhood in West Nashville. This week, 8 women are moving into the newest house.

All of the furnishings were donated through something called Project Redesign. In the next several months, Frierson says they will knock down a few of their houses and rebuild.

A majority of the funding Mending Hearts receives is from the state and federal government.

“Our state dollars turn into operational after they have been implemented and what that becomes, that’s our clinical staff, program services, that’s the nurse practitioner,” explained Frierson. “So all those funds turn back into paying for operational dollars for the staff that is needed to wrap those services around the individual.”

Thursday, News 2 is looking at the state’s continuing efforts to end the opioid epidemic. The work Mending Hearts does to treat people with an opioid addiction will be featured in that investigaiton. That story airs at 10:00 p.m.